Dispute resolution the Focal way.

The best dispute is one that is avoided, but circumstances can sometimes demand legal action.

When it comes to litigation, there are a few key practices that we rely on to inform our decision, shape our strategy, and ultimately, to help our clients protect their assets and enforce their rights:

  • We quickly assess the strengths and weaknesses of your position.
  • We explore creative alternatives and legal theories.
  • We stay within your budget.
  • We consider your business and public relations objectives.
  • We keep you well-informed throughout the process.

Sean McChesney, Attorney

From the cutting-edge to general commercial matters, Focal has successfully represented clients in a range of legal disputes, including:


Trademark, false advertising and unfair competition

First Amendment

Online privacy

Breach of contract

Non-compete, trade secrets, and employment

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Focal attorneys have handled these, among many other disputes:

Copyright Cases

Pusheen Corp. v. MakerWear, Inc. & Target Corp., No. 15-cv-07320 (N.D. Ill.): represented creator of “Pusheen the Cat” character in copyright infringement suit alleging unlicensed use of the character on t-shirts.

Craigslist, Inc. v. 3Taps Inc., et al., No. CV 12-03816 CRB, 942 F. Supp. 2d 962 (N.D. Cal. 2013): represented apartment mapping website in lawsuit brought by craigslist, alleging copyright, trademark, and other claims.

Garcia v. Google, Inc., No. 12-57302, 786 F.3d 733 (9th Cir. 2015): filed amicus brief [pdf] pointing out how copyright can be used as a workaround to take down content that would otherwise be off limits due to Section 230.

T-Scan Corp. v. BPA Technologies, Inc., No. C10-470 MJP, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 49229 (W.D. Wash. May 6, 2011): successful defense of copyright infringement and contract claims against software developer (verdict in favor of the client on plaintiff’s claims following jury trial).

Online Content/Section 230/Privacy Cases

Obado v. Magedson, No. 13-2382 (JAP), 43 Media L. Rep. 1737, (D.N.J. July 31, 2014): represented online service provider in lawsuit alleging defamation based on third-party content.

Kimzey v. Yelp Inc., No. C13-1734RAJ, 21 F. Supp. 3d 1120 (W.D. Wash. 2014): represented online service provider in lawsuit alleging defamation based on content submitted by third party.

Amazon.com LLC v. Lay, No. C10-664 MJP, 758 F. Supp. 2d 1154 (W.D. Wash. 2010): First Amendment and privacy case involving North Carolina’s attempts to seek information regarding customer purchase information (case resolved after the court granted the request for an injunction on behalf of Amazon and the customers).

Nasser v. Whitepages, No. 5:12cv097, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166133 (W.D. Va. Nov. 21, 2013): represented online directory service in lawsuit alleging defamation and invasion of privacy claims based on alleged mistaken listing of telephone number.

Business/Corporate Disputes

Morici v. HashFast LLC, et al., No. 2014-cv-00087, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107449 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 14, 2015): represented purchaser alleging that sellers of bitcoin mining equipment engaged in misleading trade practices.

Alpha Spectrum Investments LLC v. Billing Revolution, Inc., No. 10-2-09924-7SEA: represented shareholder and investor in lawsuit alleging breach of fiduciary and misappropriation claims against company and majority shareholder.

Trademark and UDRP

Bay Bread LLC (a Starbucks subsidiary) v. Mirzoyan, No. D2015-1040 (Aug. 4, 2015): secured victory for client in UDRP proceeding and negotiated successful settlement in related trademark dispute.

1st Tech. LLC. v. Bodog Entm’t Group S.A., No. C08-0872-JCC, 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 76189 (W.D. Wash. Sept. 30, 2008): precedent-setting dispute involving rights of a creditor to collect against domain names and trademarks (settled following extensive litigation).

Viker Manufacture Co. v. Jiangnan Li, Opposition No. 91187766 (T.T.A.B. Jan. 3, 2011): trademark registration opposition in front of the Trademark Trial and Appeals Board (opposition sustained).

First Amendment Cases

Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign v. King County, Nos. 11-35914, 11-35931, 781 F.3d 489 (9th Cir. 2015): First Amendment case involving King County’s rejection of bus ad based on public controversy surrounding the ad.

Quinn v. Gjoni, No. 15-2-10412-8 SEA (King County Sup. Ct. June 17, 2015): represented defendant in an online harassment dispute arising out of “Gamergate” (coverage of the dispute at the Volokh Conspiracy “Washington state court barring speech by a Massachusetts resident, and the Gjoni/Van Valkenburg controversy”).

Carreon v. Inman, No. CV-12-3112-EMC (N.D. Cal. 2012): Bizarre dispute that started with a demand letter to The Oatmeal from FunnyJunk. FunnyJunk’s lawyer ended up asserting claims against The Oatmeal and unsuccessfully tried to derail the “BearLove Good Cancer Bad” fundraiser (media coverage of the dispute: TechCrunch; Gawker; Ars Technica; Boing Boing).

Rickert v. PDC, 161 Wn.2d 843, 168 P.3d 826 (2007): First Amendment case involving free speech rights of political candidates (the Washington State Supreme Court issued a favorable decision on behalf of the client and struck down Washington’s false political advertising statute).

*Some transactions closed by Focal lawyers while employed at other firms or companies.

Focus on what matters. Focus on what works.